Joan Dever [Deaver]
Since she founded Citizens for a Better Sussex in 2004, Joan Deaver of Rehoboth Beach has lobbied successfully for laws to prevent the state from distributing treated wastewater on [public] open space and is fighting DelDOT’s proposal to build a parkway between U.S. 9 and Del. 24 to relieve congestion on Del. 1 at the beaches. [WESTERN PARKWAY-A road to nowhere.]
Now she’s out to change county council in an effort to curb over-development.
Four of five councilmen represent the western side of Sussex, which makes it difficult to pass measures that protect the unique environment of the beaches. With three seats up for grabs in November’s election, Deaver is hitting every club, civic organization, church and neighbor in the area to urge people to vote—and encourage them to run. She also lobbied heavily for House Bill 42, which would add two at-large members to council. [This bill sailed through the DE House of Representatives but stalled in Senator Thurman Adams' "Executive Committee."]
“This is personal,” Deaver says, “This is our home. We have to vote for people who care about the land, not for those who constantly support development.”
Darrel Cole, director of public relations at DelDOT, says Deaver “does her homework and is great at organizing folks.” But the Western Parkway is inevitable. “This is a project that we know in 20 years the residents will need. But there is no construction funding in our six-year plan. Construction is a decade or more out.”
Deaver isn’t buying it. “It is not safe for us to assume that because DelDOT is short of money that we’re safe,” she says. “There is something cooking, some big development. The parkway is not for us. And we’re not having it.”